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Poster: He Live's Date: Nov 14, 2007 8:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's voice

boy...the archive is really slow right now...so i cant throw a bunch of links on here BUT, anytime you question the merit of just one part of the dead you are gonna be on shakey ground. the very nature of the thing is imperfection, diamonds in the rough...

that is basically what makes it interesting. people that require flawless, album-copy performances do not listen to the dead. it is just that simple.

HOWEVER, you gotta give old jer at least up through '80. (i dont really listen much past 1980 so....) he is very exposed during the acoustic performances and just SHINES....check china doll from 10-26-1980.

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Poster: snori Date: Nov 14, 2007 8:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's voice

'Soon you will not hear his voice' always worried me whenever he sang that line. However that cigarette croak he had seemed to add poignancy and expression when it broke at the right moment eg some 90s Stella Blue, Standing on the Moon, and of course So many roads.

Hair standing up on the back of your neck, anyone ?

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Poster: swamprabbit Date: Nov 14, 2007 9:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's voice

I agree that many people that aren't into the Dead (like my wife) point to vocals as a severe shortcoming. Play a Phil song or a Donna screech for a non-deadhead and they will truly wonder what all the hub-bub was about. But I tend to disagree about Garcia's vocals going downhill. Sure his voice became hoarse and croaky - but to me this only added a level of pathos and maturity to the music. As others have pointed out - his vocals on songs like Standing on the Moon and Stella Blue towards the end are extremely powerful. In fact, one of the few things my wife does like about the Dead are Garcia's vocals. You can really see the maturity in Garcia's voice when you examine his non-Dead projects like "The Pizza Tapes." I just don't think a younger Garcia could pull off these songs with the same level of emotion.
On a side note I often wonder about folks on this site who complain about vocals, missed lyrics etc. Some people get really hung up about this. This has never been an issue for me - if I wanted perfect silky smooth vocals I wouldn't turn to the Grateful Dead.